Archive for June, 2014

Towards laws of the 3D printable design web

With the explosive growth of 3D printing, and rapid manufacturing at the consumer level in general, physical objects can be designed and manipulated in a computer. However, like other forms of digital content (e.g., documents, software, music), this is only part of the story: digital representation also enables online sharing and collaboration (as Chris Anderson has pointed out). A prime example of the potential of all these technologies combined with online sharing and collaboration is the initial design of consumer-grade 3D printers themselves which, perhaps unsurprisingly, was what many early adopters of the technology used it for.  Considering that the rest of us is where those early adopters were five or more years ago, the future should be interesting.

Despite hearing about 3D printing daily, very few studies have looked at the digital content of physical things, and the processes that generate it. I collected data some time ago, and started off with this visualization, which I wrote about before. A further initial analysis of the data has some interesting stories to tell.

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Weekend hack: PortaPi arcade console

Some time last January I decided to back the PortaPi on KickStarter. This is a mini arcade cabinet, that runs several emulators, via the RetroPie project, on a Raspberry Pi. The kit arrived on time, and sometime in May I got around to assembling it.  Here’s how it looks:

portapi

The kit is great out of the box but, of course, I had to add some of my own tweaks.   Read the rest of this entry »

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